The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

You must embrace the pain, Son.

On the weekend, Guylaine, Andrew and I had a chat about duathlons and "running-off-the-bike". It was really heart warming to hear Andrew describe how his legs feel "heavy" on the second run. It's tough to know your kids are suffering, but it's amazing to see them push through it. Perhaps more so, for me, because, as a kid, I just kind of floated through sport without putting too much effort into things - I don't ever really recall "redlining" or "digging deep". I was average, to below-average and I was fine with that; but Andrew, for some reason, has a hidden drive - I'd like to think he's trying not to impress us, but to do his best... for himself.

I said something like, "You must embrace the pain" ... "it let's you know you're alive" ... "imagine those less fortunate, who will never know the joy of finishing a race" ... "kids in wheel chairs would give anything to feel that heaviness in their legs" ... to which, he rebutted: "Oh yeah, it would be cool to be in a wheel chair, and never have to walk anywhere". (we try).

So all that to say, last night, at the du, I "embraced the pain". It was 40-ish with the humidex and the wind was unrelenting. The first run was a tad slower than normal, and the bike was starting to get tiring. I could see my "rabbit" up ahead 100 meters or so; I pushed hard - so hard, that I did something, I've only ever managed to do once before - I puked. Not a big gut-wrench, but enough to spray me in the face; just enough to let me know I wasn't just floating through it. At the overpass on the way back, I knew I had 4K to go... "Just 8 minutes more of the pain" ... at the split, 1K to go "Less than 2 minutes left".

The second run was a death march. It felt like I was running through molasses. I hit the first mark nearly a minute slower than normal; the second K more of the same; but my rabbit was walking now... I passed him, I could take him.

...Now - let's put all of this into context, the weekly du, is a low-key fun event. I'm usually only there to race against myself. And even though I was using a rabbit; I was still really only racing myself. PB was not in the cards whatsoever, I was "embracing the pain" for the sake of "feeling alive"...

So I pushed on, and my rabbit gave chase, but I pushed and "neg-splitted" the second run by over a minute. It was one of my slowest overall times, but I probably expended the most energy.

I'm sure, if I was more poetic; I'd be able to come up with this huge metaphor about life and perseverance, but I'm just a dude who's too wound up to sleep right now, so I'm writing up this wacky training report.